The Brooklyn Nets have announced that they have filled the vacant positions on their coaching staff. Newly hired coach Lionel Hollins will add “Paul Westphal, John Welch, Tony Brown, Joe Wolf and Jay Humphries as assistant coaches and Jim Sann as an assistant coach/advance scout” according to the Nets GM Billy King.
If Joe Wolf strikes you as familiar, it is because he is THAT Joe Wolf. In 2005, a writers vote named Wolf the greatest high school basketball player in Wisconsin high school basketball history. Wolf played for Dean Smith during the 1983-1987 seasons at North Carolina before being drafted into the NBA.
Wolf was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers with the 13th pick, but his career was a journeyman one. He came off the bench for several teams, including two different stints with the Charlotte Hornets. He retired in 1999 and began a second career in coaching.
Wolf started as an assistant at William and Mary for two years before taking over the Idaho Stampede of the Continental Basketball Association as head coach. When the the CBA folded under the stewardship of Isiah Thomas, Wolf became the head man of the new NBA D-League’s Colorado 14ers.
Wolf returned to an assistant coaching role in 2008 with the Milwaukee Bucks. Despite there being three different head coaches during his tenure in Milwaukee, Wolf remained until this past summer. Although valued enough by Scott Skiles, Jim Boylan, and Larry Drew, Wolf lost his job in Milwaukee when Jason Kidd landed there after his failed coup with the Nets.
Now, logically, Wolf has landed with Kidd’s old team. His job with the Nets will be to inspire more post defense from the Nets and try to get them to share Dean Smith’s love of sharing the basketball. In the meantime, will he be missed by John Henson and Larry Sanders?